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1/18th F-14B Tomcat conversion


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Greetings all,

Work continues on the Big Cat but, very slowly, hard to find time lately. I have made some progress however, test fitted pieces to make sure everything looks cool before sending her off to the paint barn and, I've decided to redo the MK-82's.

Since all the ordnance will be "live" the blue "smurf killers" just didn't go, stupid on my part. So I've now decided to turn them into "live" MK-82's with the 904 nose fuze installed as well.

First things first, a couple of shots showing the completed parts test fitted to the airframe.

IMG_4724_zps67vwqy1b.jpg

IMG_4730_zpsciq3tada.jpg

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When I removed the TCS chin pod I removed a little more plastic than I would have liked so, I had to make a shim out of .020" sheet plastic. Now when the chin pod sits in place there are no gaps.

IMG_4731_zpsl3a7w7dc.jpg

I also remove the two Radar Warning ECM antenna fairings. One because they fitted very poorly and two, It was easier to sand the area without them there and easier to paint them off the jet. Once I did some reshaping of them they fit nice and tight to the airframe now with no gaps.

IMG_4723_zpswehcamov.jpg

I want to get some better pics of the MK-82's and explain my ideas on correcting them which, I will post later.

Thanks to all who are still interested in this WIP and enjoy your weekend, til next time.

Steve

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Thanks for the kind works guys, very much appreciated.

Small update for tonight,

Since I'm waiting for materials to arrive, via the mail, to modify the MK-82's I decided to weather the insides of the F-110 nozzels. They will have clear acrylic rods in them and you won't see much of the weathering but, at least I know it's there. I started by giving them a Flory wash ( dark dirt ) then drybrushed one with Model Master Radome Tan and the other with Model Master Sand. This was followed by adding some different shades of Tamiya's weathering master sets ( sets D & E ). Colors from the sets used were burnt blue, burn red, oil stain and, green. I chose not to go too heavy on the weathering because I wanted to represent engines that had just been recently installed. I'm pretty happy with how they came out and like I said, you won't see much of them anyway.

IMG_4743_zpsom47vdqp.jpg

In the meantime, back to getting her ready for the paint barn. I can't thank all of you enough for your words of encouragement and your interest during this project, it helps keep me motivated. Til next time.

Steve

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Steve, I know it's a big model to begin with but you've packed an astonishing amount of detail into it. Good going!

To chip in with 2c of (likely unrequired) advice I'd suggest an area by area trawl of the surface to locate and finalise any panel lines

that stop in the middle of nowhere. I find them all the time and I mainly work in 1/48th.

It's a shame Master don't do a n off-the-shelf metal pitot for the radome, although I have had some success with tapering hypo needles chucked in a drill and held at an angle against a mini cutting wheel rotating in the opposite direction (one benefit of adapting a model railway transformer power supply with forward and reversing capability).

Your end result should be breathtaking.

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Thanks for the kind works guys, very much appreciated.

Small update for tonight,

Since I'm waiting for materials to arrive, via the mail, to modify the MK-82's I decided to weather the insides of the F-110 nozzels. They will have clear acrylic rods in them and you won't see much of the weathering but, at least I know it's there. I started by giving them a Flory wash ( dark dirt ) then drybrushed one with Model Master Radome Tan and the other with Model Master Sand. This was followed by adding some different shades of Tamiya's weathering master sets ( sets D & E ). Colors from the sets used were burnt blue, burn red, oil stain and, green. I chose not to go too heavy on the weathering because I wanted to represent engines that had just been recently installed. I'm pretty happy with how they came out and like I said, you won't see much of them anyway.

In the meantime, back to getting her ready for the paint barn. I can't thank all of you enough for your words of encouragement and your interest during this project, it helps keep me motivated. Til next time.

Steve

Steve. Beautiful nozzles! If I can offer a small suggestion, I think they look too good, at least on the outside. If you buff that outside metallic finish a bit with polishing clothes like the pic below, I think it will make them "pop" and look a bit more like real metal. Tamiya pastels might help too.

Finecloth1.jpg

Cheers,

Chuck

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Steve, I know it's a big model to begin with but you've packed an astonishing amount of detail into it. Good going!

To chip in with 2c of (likely unrequired) advice I'd suggest an area by area trawl of the surface to locate and finalise any panel lines

that stop in the middle of nowhere. I find them all the time and I mainly work in 1/48th.

It's a shame Master don't do a n off-the-shelf metal pitot for the radome, although I have had some success with tapering hypo needles chucked in a drill and held at an angle against a mini cutting wheel rotating in the opposite direction (one benefit of adapting a model railway transformer power supply with forward and reversing capability).

Your end result should be breathtaking.

Thanks chek, that's the idea behind the panel line wash, to check all the details.

I had a good friend of mine, who is a professional model builder, make me two pitot tubes out of aluminum already. One for this project and the other for my 154 jet. Now I don't have to worry about them snapping off.

The one on the left is the original which was proportionally incorrect. The one on the right is the new one. He scaled mine up from drawings and it looks much better plus, I don't have to paint them.

IMG_4744_zpselqcolrs.jpg

Thanks for the tip Chuck, I'll have to get some of that and give it a try.

Steve

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Steve, the exhausts look hot! Love this build, just hope you find a display cabinet that will do your Cat justice.

Steve, I noticed your intake leading edges are fairly blunt i.e. they have a flat frontal section, especially the lower intake lips. You may want to round them a little to get a better contour, shouldn't take you very long and may improve the look.

Have a look at these links to see what I am talking about:

http://data.primeportal.net/hangar/tom_adkins/f-14/VF-143%20PORT%20INTAKE%20&%20DROP%20TANK.JPG

http://www.clubhyper.com/reference/images/f14dkittybg_2.JPG

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/F-14_Tomcat_USSHM_engine.JPG

:worship:

Marcel

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Steve, the exhausts look hot! Love this build, just hope you find a display cabinet that will do your Cat justice.

Steve, I noticed your intake leading edges are fairly blunt i.e. they have a flat frontal section, especially the lower intake lips. You may want to round them a little to get a better contour, shouldn't take you very long and may improve the look.

Have a look at these links to see what I am talking about:

http://data.primeportal.net/hangar/tom_adkins/f-14/VF-143%20PORT%20INTAKE%20&%20DROP%20TANK.JPG

http://www.clubhyper.com/reference/images/f14dkittybg_2.JPG

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/F-14_Tomcat_USSHM_engine.JPG

:worship:/>/>/>

Marcel

Thanks for the reference pics Marcel, the first one is especially helpful.

I did find some time today to address one of the intakes. PITA for 2 reasons, first it's trying to modify these already built. This is another reason I wish this would have come in "kit" form. It would have been much easier to deal with before assembly and, second reason, I failed to finish this up BEFORE attaching the nose section to the main body. It's extremely difficult to get the proper radius on the intake edge closest to the main body because of the lack of clearance.

Oh well, my fault so it will just take alot longer now. Thanks for checking in and maybe I'll have something worth posting by this weekend.

Steve

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Small update for today,

BEFORE shots of the starboard side intakes, thick square edges and no roundover. There were also some areas on the sides of the intakes that needed some filler. The tape is there to keep the filler from getting onto the inlet ramps. No need to do any more sanding than necessary, especially in this confined space.

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IMG_4756_zpsxjxihdtd.jpg

AFTER shots of the port side intake with the edges rounded. The inner inlet wall, the one closest to the fuselage, was thinned down as well.

IMG_4754_zpszqmos7op.jpg

IMG_4755_zpsgm4xu02i.jpg

So, one down and one to go. I just wish I would have caught this BEFORE attaching the forward fuselage to the main body. Thanks for checking in, time to get back to work.

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Marcel, appreciate it.

Today's update, reworking the MK-82's.

Since all the other munitions, that the Big Cat will be toting, are live the "smurf killers" just didn't fit in. Not sure what I was thinking there. Stupid on my part but, fixable.

I thought about just leaving the noses of the bombs alone and re-painting the bodies but, that would be too easy. Adding 904 nose fuzes to them will add interest.

I started by using a test subject before I ruined the resin ones. These are what BBI offered on their 1/18th F-16. A crude high speed TER with 3 MK-82's.

IMG_4739_zpsgksjr2ap.jpg

This is what I need to duplicate, should be easy enough.

IMG_4738_zpsjfskrsjx.jpg

The part that sucks about this hobby these days is obtaining materials. I use to have 2 hobby shops within a 20 minute drive from my house. They have both since closed and I am forced to order things online.

After a week my parts finally arrived. Hopefully these do the trick.

IMG_4758_zpspjywxi7p.jpg

I started by sanding down the nose of the 82 until it was flat. Then I carefully drilled a 3/16" hole in the center. I cut a piece of the tubing and inserted it into the hole, no glue yet.

Next I cut a piece of the rod and chucked it up in my rotary tool. I used the low speed setting and put a bevel on the rod, with my file, to match the picture.

IMG_4760_zpsdryuzp3n.jpg

The rod fits perfectly into the tube and I think it looks pretty good so far. I just need to come up with an idea on how to make the arming vane for the front of the fuze.

Scratchbuilding at 1/18th is a whole different animal compared to 1/48th, there's more to see and it has to look right. There's no "good enough" at this scale.

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Now to do this 4 more times on the resin bombs. Hopefully they come out as well as the test subject did.

I hope you all enjoy today's update and I thank you for stopping by and having a look. Until the next update ......

Steve

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Greetings all,

A very small update for this afternoon,

Since I need to get some thin metal for the arming vanes of the bombs, I decided to turn my attention to the fuel tanks.

I managed to finish getting the fuel tanks decalled. I'll seal them in with a flat coat and do some weathering. Another small step forward.

IMG_4765_zps1mazveai.jpg

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good afternoon everyone,

Today's update focuses on the MK-82's. I was wondering what I could use to replicate the thermal coating used on the Navy bombs. I wanted something that wouldn't look overdone and out of scale. Something that would

be easily applied and workable. We had some BIC white out ( correction fluid ), lying around so I figured I'd give it a shot. The applicator brush is no longer used, instead they give you a nice little foam pad

applicator now, this was a nice bonus. I sanded down the "test subject" bomb body with 320 grit and wiped it clean with some rubbing alcohol. I worked small sections at a time and as the fluid was drying I went

back and stippled it with the foam pad. It worked awesome and looked very convincing. Like I said at the outset, it had to be to scale.

IMG_4782_zpsxap0nlsm.jpg

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I let this dry overnight and applied the yellow to the bombs nose the following day. It takes paint very well, did not soften back up or smear.

IMG_4783_zpszaegfpz5.jpg

Next test was how would tape affect it ?? I cut 3mm strips of Tamiya tape and applied them to the nose. Mixed up some MM Olive Drab and sprayed two light coats. I waited about 5 minutes and pulled the tape, I figured the sooner

the better. To my surprise the tape did not affect the white out, NICE !! Probablly because this one is only a "test piece". Hopefully when I spray the "keepers" things will go just as well. I'm very happy with the results.

IMG_4784_zps1gjxtqrd.jpg

I've already applied the white out to the other 4 bombs. I'll let this dry overnight and apply the yellow tomorrow. Another day for that to dry and I can hit the bomb bodies with some colors. Hopefully things go well and I'll

have another update very soon. Thanks to everyone for checking in, til the next update......

Steve

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Thank you falcon20driver, I like it.

Not sure if it would look right for 48th scale. I hope so since that is the scale I normally build but, I would definitely do a test piece first. May have to find something else to stipple the fliud to get a tighter

finish for that scale ??

Steve

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Tonight's update, wrapping up the MK-82's.

I started out by drilling out the bomb noses to accept the fuzes.

IMG_4773_zpsuwwpakss.jpg

I also drilled out the tail fin assemblies, since theses are hollow on the real deal and, installed the scratchbuilt M-904 nose fuzes.

IMG_4780_zpsizb08jgm.jpg

Now I neede to make the arming vanes for the fuzes. This is the shape I needed to replicate, just on a much smaller scale.

IMG_4769_zps6ebfuf2v.jpg

I neede something that would be easily workable and retain it's shape once twisted. I ended up using some metal foil from a wine bottle. It took me a few attempts but, I finally got what I was looking for. Now time to paint

some bombs.

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I always like to be a little different so, I chose to paint two of the bombs Faded Olive Drab and the other two Light ghost grey, just to add interest. After a flat coat I weathered them up using some pastels followed by another

flat coat. Then to add even more interest I added some graffitti to the bomb bodies ( I ALWAYS wrote graffitti on anything our crew ever loaded ) with artist pencils. Next I glued on the arming vanes with some liquid CA and

painted them with some steel paint. I'm really happy with how they came out and I think they'll look cool hanging on the jet. Thanks for stopping by and having a look, until the next update ....

Steve

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